February 1, 2025

I guess I’m finally out of the woods.

It feels good to be back home, away from all the unpleasantness. I spent the past week in my apartment, embracing the dreamy days and chilly nights. I feel safe now that I’m moving on. I cut all contact with Matt, and right now, all I can wish for is for him to move on with his life as well. Some nights, I find myself waking up at random hours, even when I go to sleep at a late hour; I’d wake up suddenly and my brain would project images of him standing in the corner, all choleric and dissatisfied, with his hypnotic and penetrating eyes staring at me. He’d be wearing dark clothes, and his posture would be limp with his shoulders dragged down as if he’d given up on me. Matt probably thinks I left him voluntarily which isn’t true. I had no other choice. I couldn’t ignore what he’s done and live in deny. I can’t overlook what happened between us and the risks he put me through.

Last night, I finally received a comforting message through a dream. In the dream, I’m standing in front of a tall and enormous blond man wearing a red flannel shirt. I can’t remember where we were, I just remember him approaching me and hugging me tightly. I felt an enormous amount of love and security, something that I’ve been lacking in my waking life. The hug was so heartfelt and intense that I didn’t let go. I don’t know what the dream could possibly mean. All I can remember though, is waking up feeling really good about it. And for now, that’s good enough for me.

I called Ryan yesterday, announcing my return to town. When I left Iowa last year, I kind of left him hanging alone while I stayed with Matt. I felt terrible about that. He called me a couple of times and sent me messages that I had to ignore for a while. I didn’t know what to say to him; I came up with an insane excuse of telling him I had to catch a plane to Freiburg because my father had been hospitalized. Now, I have to come up with more lies to cover up my absence for the last six months. I’ve literally forgotten how to behave. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever behaved properly. I’m constantly living on the edge, trying so hard to get by, and not thinking ahead what consequences my actions might have.

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